North Charleston Police dealing with heroin epidemic

North Charleston Police say they are seizing more heroin than ever. (Source: NCPD)
North Charleston Police say they are seizing more heroin than ever. (Source: NCPD)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - North Charleston Police say they are dealing with a heroin epidemic.

Police say are seizing more heroin than ever.

"It's something we haven't seen in the past. We used to get ounces of heroin. Now it's normal for us to get a kilo of heroin and that's not normal for us," North Charleston Police Lieutenant Brian Adams said.

Adams says users are turning to heroin because it's cheaper to buy than prescription pills.

He says many are looking for the deadly combination of heroin and its synthetic form of Fentanyl.

"The reason why it's taking them as close to as they possibly get to death without hopefully not dying, so they can come back and use it again," Adams said.

Lisa Mitchell finds that alarming. Last July, Mitchell's friend's son died of a heroin overdose. Creighton Shipman was just 19 years old.

After Creighton's death, she formed the organization "Wake Up Carolina" to spread awareness and educate the community about the danger of using heroin and other opioid drugs.

"It's not one community, it's not one income level, it's not one school, it's across the board," Mitchell said.

Heroin overdose deaths are on the rise in Charleston County.

According to the State Department of Health and Environmental Control, there were 11 deaths in the county in 2014 and 23 in 2015. In Berkeley County, there were two overdose deaths in 2014 and 4 in 2015. Dorchester County had two deaths in 2014 and 2015.

Mitchell has a message for parents.

"Ask your kids lots of questions, educate yourself and educate them about how once you're addicted, once you try that one time you might fight it the rest of your life," she said.

For more information on the organization Wake Up Carolina you can go to their Facebook page.

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